Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' James Shields takes third in AL Cy Young voting

Tigers ace Justin Verlander is the unanimous AL Cy Young Award winner after leading the AL in ERA, wins and K’s.

Associated Press

Tigers ace Justin Verlander is the unanimous AL Cy Young Award winner after leading the AL in ERA, wins and K’s.

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays right-hander James Shields said he anxiously paced around his Clearwater home Tuesday afternoon in the 10 minutes prior to the American League Cy Young Award announcement.

Shields knew Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander was a lock to win — and Verlander was the unanimous choice by all 28 voters after leading the league in ERA (2.40), wins (24) and strikeouts (250).

"I think it was unanimous throughout the whole world," Shields quipped.

But Shields was hoping he'd land in the top five, and he was thrilled when he finished third, behind Verlander and Angels right-hander Jered Weaver. The top-five finish increased Shields' 2012 option $500,000 to $8 million.

"I was excited, just to be part of that kind of talented group of guys that were up there with me," Shields said. "It's definitely an honor. Obviously every pitcher wants to win the Cy Young, but with the kind of year Verlander had, it was a no-doubter."

Verlander, who is also an MVP candidate, is the first unanimous AL Cy Young selection since Twins left-hander Johan Santana in 2006. He had 196 points, topping Weaver (97 points), Shields (66), Yankees lefty CC Sabathia (63) and Tigers closer Jose Valverde (28).

"It's an amazing experience," Verlander said. "It's something I've worked for and always dreamed of."

Verlander was impressed with the bounceback season by Shields, who racked up a career-high 16 wins and 2491/3 innings, including a major-league-most 11 complete games.

"I thought it was incredible — 11 complete games? That's just amazing," Verlander said. "Me and some of the other starting pitchers on our team, we'd comment every time, 'Oh my gosh, he threw another one.' "

Shields credited pitching coach Jim Hickey for one of the biggest factors in his turnaround from a tough 2010 (5.18 ERA and 15 losses), helping him refine his delivery and hone his mechanics. He said it was also a year in which he was "the healthiest I've been," and that finishing third was both a "validation" and "gratifying."

Shields follows left-hander David Price's second-place finish in the 2010 Cy Young voting, and comes one day after right-hander Jeremy Hellickson claimed the 2011 AL rookie of the year award. Hellickson said Shields had an "unbelievable" year and huge impact on his own season, with Price offering congratulations via Twitter: "Any other year his stats win it!!"

"It shows what kind of staff we have on the Rays," Shields said. "To have guys like that on our staff, not one guy but five guys that could potentially have those kind of awards and those kind of years."

Shields hopes to build off his big year, saying it's a "season I'm capable of having in the future."

"I don't think I'm going to predict 11 complete games next year, but hopefully I can get a couple," Shields said, laughing. "I'm definitely a realist, I think the year I had was definitely a phenomenal year when I look back on it. The sky is the limit. You always want to try to beat the season before next year, I'm going to try my best to repeat what I did."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

AL Cy Young voting

Top five vote-getters in balloting by the BBWAA:

1. JUSTIN VERLANDER, RHP

Detroit Tigers (196 points)

2. JERED WEAVER, RHP

Los Angeles Angels (97)

3. JAMES SHIELDS, RHP

Tampa Bay Rays (66)

4. CC SABATHIA, LHP

New York Yankees (63)

5. JOSE VALVERDE, RHP

Detroit Tigers (28)



Smith's picks

Times staff writer Joe Smith's

Cy Young ballot:

1. VERLANDER
2. SHIELDS
3. WEAVER
4. SABATHIA
5. C.J. WILSON, LHP

Texas Rangers

Tampa Bay Rays' James Shields takes third in AL Cy Young voting 11/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.